As you probably know by now, I HATE TO SHOP. Hate it. I do almost all of my shopping online. 99% of what I need can be found at either Amazon.com or Gap.com. But shopping online bypasses the “browsing” element of shopping. I often miss out on stuff I’d otherwise feel compelled to buy. Which can be a good thing AND a bad thing! There are only two stores where I actually ENJOY shopping & browsing: IKEA and World Market. When I’m in those stores – usually once or twice a year – I see all kinds of stuff I JUST HAVE TO HAVE… things I didn’t know existed until faced with them in person. Like these fake plants and coordinating planters from IKEA [I LOVE real plants, but fake plants – especially pretty ones – certainly help fill dark corners or cold spots in the house]:
And colorful wall hooks from World Market:
That being said, I owe the discovery of some of my most favorite things to shopping in stores outside my comfort zone. A direct result of being dragged through said stores – usually against my will – by family or friends who love to shop. So I guess shopping isn’t ALL bad… It pains me to say that…
So without further ado, some of the amazing discoveries I’ve made while shopping:
My Kittygoyle from a witch shop in Salem, MA [also available on Amazon – woohoo!] [#affiliate]:
My 3″ Crystal Ball [and stand] from Laurie Cabot’s famous witch shop in Salem, MA:
This Chinese Fish pendant from The Andovers Gift Shop in Andover, MA [which closed in 2012] – it’s very heavy for a pendant, and swings out and back when I walk:
This screaming dragon sconce from a funky gift-shop in Boston, MA:
And my red long-tailed cat from Neal Street East in Covent Garden, London UK:
I just read that Neal Street East is no longer there 🙁 “The oriental and ethnic department store that was Neal Street East was lost to us as bigger chain stores met the massive rise in rents. Neal Street East stimulated the senses as the customer wandered through three floors packed with colourful textiles, fragrant incenses, tactile pottery and glassware, and tinkling wind chimes. It was part of the experience of visiting Covent Garden”. When I visited London in 1998, my world-traveler brother told me about Neal Street East and said “you have to check it out – you’ll love it!” And I did! It was similar to Pier 1 Imports and World Market. And instead of being 3 stories tall, it was a ground-level store with 2 ancient, wooden staircases descending underground! It was such a cool store! I bought 3 red, long-tailed cats there, and flew home with them carefully resting in a paper bag in my lap.
Other favorite possessions include:
This 120+ year old stone Celtic Cross that my great-grandmother brought to the US from the UK over 100 years ago [it stands just over 4″ tall, including base]:
This pink mouse pull-toy I’ve had since I was 5:
Recently I have found ANOTHER avenue of stumbling upon things I HAVE TO HAVE: other DIY blogs! Last month I thoroughly enjoyed reading through Jessica’s Cape of Dreams blog and spotted this awesome kitty Buddha:
I had to have it. She got hers at a gift shop in South Carolina, and I was thankfully able to find one on Overstock.com. I LOVE it! So does hubby, and our friend Nat.
I also spotted these really cool purple scarf hangers:
She found hers at Burlington Coat Factory back in April 2013, and I was so happy to find a set on Amazon [#affiliate]. At $7/pair you really can’t go wrong! They come in all different colors and they’re great for hanging anything long and skinny: scarves, nylons/tights, belts, etc.!
I am currently ⅔ of the way through D’Arcy’s Our Bungalow’s 2nd Century blog. In addition to being hilarious and witty [and surrounded by cats] she and her husband have some serious DIY talent! Today I read her tribute post to her late Maine Coon, Rosencrantz. Despite being, for the most part, a non-cryer, this post made me tear up. What an INCREDIBLE animal!!! Who led an absolutely incredible life. Here’s a snippet [posted without her permission… I hope it’s OK, D’Arcy!]:
“A cushy home life wasn’t enough for this cat. Within a few months, he’d gone out and gotten himself a job at the union hall office across the street. For reasons we’ll never know, Rosey decided he was part of the office staff. For thirteen years, Monday through Friday, Rosey steadfastly reported for work at the International Union of Operating Engineers, Seattle Local 286… One day I discovered a new tag on Rosey’s collar. His union buddies had given him a small enameled charm with the union number and logo on it. A journeyman at last! Rosey proudly wore his union tag for the rest of his life.”
Thanks for the shout out. I love the kitty-goyle. Hmmm. I might need to go shopping….
Definitely OK that you pinged my blog, Alison! I have deliberately avoided reading Rosey’s eulogy since he died. I tried to read it today (2 years later) but within two paragraphs I was in tears again. I miss that big ol’ cat so much! I can still see him sitting across the street like he owns the business…
Awwwww, I’m sure! And thanks. Amazing little soul!
Fascinating – I knew somewhere waaay deep down inside you there had to be a dormant shopping gene. How could there not?